Does Your Gym Need a Side Hustle? (How Revenue Streams Add Up)

6 min read


Woman in red pants doing a bicycle crunch

Side hustles have been a hot topic for some time now. Whether it’s ridesharing, food delivery, data entry, or nannying, there seems to be something out there for anyone looking to make some extra income.

Some people are even getting in on the part-time personal trainer game.

However, as you know, running a gym can be a full-time commitment, especially if you’re just starting out. You may not have the time to balance gym ownership and a side hustle.

In that situation, what’s a busy, entrepreneurially minded gym owner to do?

Add More Revenue Streams To Your Fitness Business

Your regularly priced gym memberships are your bread and butter. But there are many side streams of income you can explore to give you extra financial security and build your skill set as a fitness expert.

Diversifying your sources of revenue:

  • Protects your fitness business from economic downturn.
  • Rounds out the member experience.
  • Keeps you fresh and relevant in the fitness industry.

Let’s go over a few side hustles you can easily incorporate into your gym.

Revenue Idea #1: Fitness Reimbursement Programs

Did you know that there’s a whole world of fitness reimbursement programs out there that offer members access to gyms at affordable prices?

Clubs have been making use of these programs for years, but you can get in on the opportunity too.

Programs like the Optum Fitness Network allow people on corporate insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare to attend a set number of gym classes per month. It’s affordable for them and an extra revenue stream for you.

If you join the Optum Fitness Network through Zen Planner, you can get $672/year from a member who checks in 4 times a month. That means you could earn up to $13,440/year from a group of 20 Optum members.

How’s that for a lucrative side hustle?

Interested in accessing Optum’s 12 million+ members? Learn more or join the Optum Fitness Network today!

Revenue Idea #2: Retail Merchandise & Equipment

Gym bag with water bottle and towel and a pair of pink sneakers

Many people have created online shops and boutiques for their side hustle. Guess what — you already have the space for that available right there in your gym.

If you’re not selling retail merchandise and equipment yet, don’t delay. Your members trust you, they like clothing and products they can try in person, and they want to represent the community they’re a part of.

For a retail store to be a successful gym side hustle, you need to know:

  • What products your members are looking for.
  • What price is right for your members.
  • What it will cost to order the merchandise and equipment.

If any one of these factors is off — demand, affordability, or product costs – it won’t be a successful side hustle.

Keep in mind that a business management software like Zen Planner will allow you to process retail payments easily through an app and offer your members a convenient online store to purchase from.

Revenue Idea #3: Childcare

Toddler boy playing with red ball at gym daycare

Childcare may be an offering you haven’t yet considered. After all, many fitness businesses cater to 20-, 30-, and 40-somethings, not kids.

Consider this, though: Just like you want (or need) a side hustle, so do many parents. They’re juggling multiple jobs, family life, and chores. In order to prioritize their fitness, they have to be strategic with their time and energy.

Onsite childcare is a way to let your local community know that you welcome parents into your fitness business with open arms. It’s extremely convenient for your gym members, and this service may be the only way some of your members will have the time to work out at all.

Costs associated with childcare include trained staff and insurance, so this is not a revenue stream you can implement overnight. But it is a gym side hustle in the sense that you can offer childcare as an add-on to your usual membership fees.

It’s also a huge differentiator from the other gyms in your local area.

Other Gym Revenue Ideas

Athlete in orange shirt getting massage

We encourage you to get creative with your revenue streams. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, follow an area of personal interest, or even survey your gym members to see what they’d love to see from you.

Any of these revenue streams could yield major profits for you, depending on how you implement them:

  • Food and beverage sales
  • Nutrition programs
  • Personal training
  • Equipment rentals
  • Bootcamps or seasonal programming
  • Athlete massage

Don’t be afraid to check out what clubs or chain gyms are doing as you brainstorm.

You don’t have to implement the exact same offerings in the exact same way, and you don’t have to be extravagant or cookie cutter in your approach. But there is something to be said for taking their offerings and putting your own small business spin on it the way only boutique gym owners know how.

What’s Your Favorite Gym Side Hustle?

These are just a few of our favorite gym side hustles, but we’d love to hear more. Please share this article with your fellow gym owners and swap ideas for additional revenue streams.

The more we elevate each other’s businesses, the fitter our local communities can get!

About the Author: Kelli Sweeting

I'm Coach Kelli, a devoted CrossFit gym owner with 15 years of experience managing my facility, along with owning yoga studios and wellness centers. Beyond the fitness world, I have a passion for cooking, cherish moments with my children and family, and find joy in spending time outside. Having experienced the highs and lows, I'm dedicated to leveraging my expertise to help you grow and succeed on your fitness journey.